Legal Matters

La. attorney suspended for accepting marijuana as fee

Seriously, we’re not kidding.

Louisiana Legal Ethics reported in its November newsletter that a hearing committee of the Louisiana Attorney Disciplinary Board has recommended a fully deferred suspension for a Northshore lawyer who received his legal fee in marijuana.

According to the legal newsletter, the respondent, James D. Mecca, agreed to undertake the representation of a confidential informant who posed as a prospective client. He met the CI in a Target parking lot in Covington, and accepted $300 in cash and a backpack containing marijuana. After driving away, he was arrested by deputies of the St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office. Ultimately, Mecca pleaded guilty to the crime of simple possession of marijuana.

Considering the respondent’s acceptance of responsibility and his “excellent compliance” with the Lawyers’ Assistance Program, the hearing committee rejected ODC’s request for a two- to three-year suspension, LLE reported. Instead, the committee recommended a year and a day, fully deferred suspension — “provided that he remains compliant with all terms and conditions of the LAP contract.”

LLE could not help but note that the “About Us” page on the respondent’s website states the following: “We Accept Multiple Payment Methods.”